Election threshold to be 7 pct: MHP’s Bahçeli
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli has said that the People’s Alliance’s decision on the election threshold has been finalized as 7 percent, three points less than the current barrier, following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statement on the matter last weekend.
“Our president has told the reporters that the election threshold will be 7 percent. As a matter of fact, studies on the election barrier have ended with this [Erdoğan’s] statement, and the decision of the People’s Alliance was registered as 7 percent. There is no need for any further evaluation,” Bahçeli said in a written statement late Sept. 1.
Erdoğan, in an interview with the reporters traveling with him to the Balkans over the weekend, announced that his Justice and Development Party (AKP) is in favor of a 7-percent threshold and that the MHP, its ally at the People’s Alliance, also favors it. Turkey has been imposing a 10-percent election threshold since the early 1980s, the highest barrier in the world.
Discussions on whether the threshold should be 5 or 7 percent are nothing but a waste of time, Bahçeli said, recalling that the two parties had established technical committees to work on amendments to the Election Law and Law on Political Parties. This committee worked on potential changes on the election system, election threshold and other technical matters in a sincere way, he suggested.
The two parties are expected to finalize their internal work on these amendments following the resumption of the legislative activities after Oct. 1. Apart from the election threshold, they are also discussing whether a narrower constituency model should be established. The MHP is believed to be against this as it thinks it will not be advantageous to the smaller parties.